Fellow hosts, we have just filed a BBB complaint on Airbnb's public review system and policy. We have contacted Airbnb about a Guest review that is based on known and proven wrong facts, but Airbnb Case Manager said they refused to remove it. Airbnb would uphold any guests review, as long as it does not violent their Content Policy, which shockingly does not include Wrong Facts, Misinformation. We filed the BBB complaint as we believe Airbnb has a responsibility to every hosts to make sure their public review system is fair and accurate. If you had the same problem and agree with us, you can also post on BBB (Better Business Bureau). We hope through our collective efforts, Airbnb can improve its Content Policy.
BBB complaint filed Nov 30 2019 - Similar to Airbnb's belief that Guests can express whatever opinion and experience, we as hosts have the same right to file our complaint to BBB.
We have been hosting on Airbnb for almost 2 years and through our hard work, we have achieved Super Host status. For 95% of the 60+ reviews we received, we got the highest rating (5 star) for all aspects.
Recently, we had a girl from Australia booked her stay with us on Oct 16th. As part of Airbnb's booking process, the Guest would not be able to see our accurate address before her booking, but Airbnb had provided her our accurate address after her booking is confirmed and paid. So as Host, we do NOT control this process. Then on Nov 1, 2 days before the Guest arrived, she messaged to us that she found our address is further away than she had expected to a destination she planned to be. We have worked promptly to provide with her relevant commute information and how to call an Uber to get around. We have also sent her our accurate address as part of our greeting to the guest to provide her with Self Check-in information. So with these messages, we believe the guest have received our address and knew it was correct, as she used the address to get to our house and stayed with us.
After the guest stay, she posted a very negative review on our listing - 2 star for our Location, and 3 star for our Accuracy where she wrote "Incorrect Address". We immediately contacted Airbnb Support, pointing out the review was based on wrong fact, ie, we have provided incorrect address, while as a matter of fact, we have provided our correct legal address to Airbnb in our listing for the last two years. We requested Airbnb to remove this negative public review based on known and verifiable wrong facts.
Airbnb Case Manager took our case, but she sent back to us two messages on Nov 23 and 26 saying the Guest has given us an overall good review, and ignored our questions about the negative rating on "Location" and "Accuracy" of our listing. We continued to write to her and called Airbnb, and finally, after ignoring us for a couple of days, she replied that Airbnb would not remove any Guest Review, as long as it did not violate their "content policy", which shockingly does NOT include false, wrong information and fact. This means, Airbnb would uphold any public review from a Guest even if they know the Guest is providing wrong information and incorrect facts about a Host's property and listing.
We believe Airbnb as the renting platform, the company has its basic responsibility to maintain a fair, factual and reasonably accurate public review system, as the company uses the review system to score and rank Hosts' listing. Airbnb has also used this review system to make Hosts to care about and put in time and efforts to earn a good rating from the guests, so Airbnb can profit from the Services Fees that it charges from the booking fees. However, by not having a policy and a practice to supervise that only correct fact are put into public reviews, Airbnb is treating its hosts unfairly.
In our specific case, we have no control as to when and how Airbnb releases our address to the Guest, but we have provided our factual, correct legal address to Airbnb since two years ago. We have not done anything wrong but Airbnb's policy has resulted in unjustifiable damage to the public rating of our listing.
From this stay, Airbnb collected Service Fee from us as the Host. This service fee is collected partly to pay for their operation, including the Public Reviews System. As a paying customer, we demand Airbnb to make a policy that ensure their Pubic Review system works to remove public reviews that are known and proven to be based on wrong and incorrect facts. This is something basic.
Below are the sort of reports we all need to be paying very close attention to - and acting upon. Where there's a will, there's a way...
In response to the competition concerns expressed by the Bundeskartellamt, Amazon is amending its terms of business for sellers on Amazon’s online marketplaces.
Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “In conclusion of our proceedings Amazon will adjust its terms of business for sellers active on its marketplace for the German marketplace amazon.de, for all European marketplaces (amazon.co.uk, amazon.fr, amazon.es, amazon.it) and marketplaces worldwide including those in North America and Asia. Amazon will today announce and publish the changes to its terms of business (Business Solutions Agreement - BSA). They will take effect 30 days later. The amendments address the numerous complaints about Amazon that the Bundeskartellamt received from sellers. They concern the unilateral exclusion of liability to Amazon’s benefit, the termination and blocking of sellers’ accounts, the court of jurisdiction in case of a dispute, the handling of product information and many other issues. With our proceedings we have obtained far-reaching improvements for sellers active on Amazon marketplaces worldwide. The proceedings are now terminated”.
Amazon is the largest online retailer for many product categories and operates by far the largest online marketplace in Germany. Many sellers find Amazon’s marketplace very important for their online sales, especially in terms of access to customers. In November 2018, following a large number of complaints from sellers, the Bundeskartellamt initiated abuse of dominance proceedings against Amazon to examine its terms of business and practices towards sellers on its German marketplace amazon.de (see Bundeskartellamt press release of 29 November 2018). The Bundeskartellamt has now terminated its proceedings following the amendments made by Amazon.
Further details here..
yes that is why we filed a BBB complaint. Our experience with BBB is the complaints are sent to local regulators and industry associations. We hope more hosts raise their voice about the unfair content policy set up by Airbnb.
thanks for sharing the development Rebecca. Felt more hosts need to pay attention and act together so Airbnb can hear the voice and make change to its unfair content policy.
@Rebecca181 Ha it was a small victory indeed; I won by default as Airbnb did not respond. But they did pay...
There is a serious problem with the way results are presented when a guest searches for a specific location, especially if there are Plus listings in that location. A guest may get listings that are a considerable distance away. If they study the map and know the city well they can avoid these listings but perhaps that is the problem here. Airbnb presented a listing that wasn’t where the guest wanted to stay, so it is not a hosting problem but an Airbnb algorithm results problem.
Possible Dennis. When we did research about our own listing in Airbnb, properties within 20 miles all showed up, especially if you toggle to Search by map.
The guest was from Australia. The places she intended to be was about 10 miles away. However she was given the exact address after her booking and she went to our house with the address, so she knew the address was correct, but she nonetheless rated our Accuracy for 3 with a remark "Incorrect Address".
Lastly we did searched for available Airbnb listing with the destination she wanted to be, and found there is only one listing in that town, which might be booked. Our listing showed up as the next nearest listing with more or less same distance from other Airbnb listings.
Therefore we do not want to blame the guest, but Airbnb needs to look into this and make a more fair decision.
This is just more evidence of Airbnb's poor Customer Service. As a SuperHost i hate to call them because they are very pleasant but a combination of apathy and ineptness.